SOLIDWORKS 2022: 14 Things to Love

We just had our first look at SOLIDWORKS 2022 and it’s awesome—but not in the way you might think. Below we detail some of the biggest takeaways from the official SOLIDWORKS What’s New in 2022 live stream.

If you came hoping to see 90 minutes of what’s new in SOLIDWORKS 2022 then you would have been left disappointed—but this was by no means a disappointing event. Quite the opposite, in fact. This event showcased not just new updates in SOLIDWORKS 2022, but rather What’s Next for SOLIDWORKS, Dassault Systèmes, and the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. 

Here are the top takeaways from the live stream event hosted by Brian Zias and the team at Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS.

Part 1: The Messages from the SOLIDWORKS 2022 Live Stream

1. Yes, SOLIDWORKS 2022 is Worth the Upgrade

If you didn’t see the live stream, then you might be asking the question, “Should I upgrade to SOLIDWORKS 2022?” The answer is a resounding yes! Before we go any further, let’s get this one out of the way. From what I saw today, definitely upgrade to SOLIDWORKS 2022 as soon as you can. The performance gains alone make it worthwhile. According to the team at Dassault, you will see a 10 percent improvement by just upgrading to the new version. (More on this later.)

2. The Future is Beyond SOLIDWORKS Desktop

Brian and the team shared with us today “their version of the future of design” which is beyond the SOLIDWORKS Desktop we’ve come to know. If this statement comes as a shock to you, then you haven’t been paying attention; the faint whispers of this trend have grown louder and louder over the years. Based on the live stream event, the team sent a clear message that the future is more than SOLIDWORKS Desktop, yet it will remain firmly planted in the foundation of SOLIDWORKS Desktop. This will benefit the user community in countless ways. Let’s break down the timings from today’s event.

As you can see from the graphic above, only one fifth of the live stream event focused on SOLIDWORKS 2022, while the remaining 80 percent was spent focusing Dassault Systèmes’ strategic vision and the user community. In fact, if you were to rewatch the stream you would have to fast forward over an hour to get your first look at the enhancements in SOLIDWORKS 2022. In the spirit of this, you’ll need to scroll down a bit to get to my favorite enhancements we saw today coming in SOLIDWORKS 2022.

3. You (The User) Is Incredibly Important

I know most people see that breakdown, look at it and say, “Wow! Why’d they spend so much time on other stuff instead of the demos?” Sure, people came for the hits. But instead, I think it should be interpreted as “Wow! They had so much other stuff to show us.” This live stream event went much beyond just the traditional CAD fundamentals like parts, assemblies and drawings.

Thirty-five percent of the presentation was showcasing either the user community or the CEO of SOLIDWORKS—both the top of SOLIDWORKS leadership and the foundation of the worldwide user community. That tells me that there is a connection from the top down and the bottom up that meets in the middle where the SOLIDWORKS brand will continue to thrive, like it has over the past nearly thirty years.

4.  7,000 Developers Working for You

We had a great reminder today from Brian when he told us there are nearly 7,000 developers working on the SOLIDWORKS products. Although we are still waiting for him to confirm that via fact check, the message is clear: there is a huge bench behind the R&D team.

One of the speakers today was John Sweeney, the senior director of R&D at SOLIDWORKS. He reminded us of the importance of submitting bugs or issues. They proudly shared with us the updated graphic tracking their progress on a 3-year initiative beginning in 2019 to reduce their backlogs of severe SPRs (software performance reports, AKA bugs) to less than 10 percent.

This graphic illustrates the commitment from the R&D team to make the software error-free.

It’s sometimes easy to forget that SOLIDWORKS is just a brand, and not a company. It’s one out of a few dozen pieces of software developed by one of the biggest tech companies in the world. As more and more products get released on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, you’ll begin to see more and more high-end manufacturing, simulation and data management/PLM tools made available to the SOLIDWORKS community. We saw that today at the end of the session when Michael Steeves showed us some impressive simulation technology.

5. The Best is Yet to Come

As opposed to previous years’ streaming events, this one seemed purpose-built to excite us about the new features, educate us beyond just SOLIDWORKS CAD and direct us to the upcoming reseller events where, in Brian’s words, the “magic happens.” There is so much more to the great new features and enhancements of SOLIDWORKS 2022 than what was shown here. Click this link to find a live or streaming event for you.

Still not convinced? Keep reading part 2 below, where I list my top five favorite enhancements from today’s SOLIDWORKS 2022 live stream.

Part 2: The Features Shown in the SOLIDWORKS 2022 Live Stream

6. 10x Performance

Just by installing SOLIDWORKS 2022, you will see performance improvements when panning, zooming or rotating. Think about how often you pan, zoom or rotate your models—it’s basically all the time. This alone makes it worthwhile upgrading to SOLIDWORKS 2022. It is made possible by the multiyear endeavor of changing the architecture of the render pipeline, shifting more of the workload on to the graphics card.

In today’s live stream we heard the phrase silhouette edges, which is what you see in the Shaded with Edges display style. It’s the most realistic (i.e., prettiest) rendering style. Check out the increased frames per second (FPS) for SOLIDWORKS 2022 when compared to 2021. That means less lag and more smoothness when it comes to moving your geometry. Year over year it is only an 11percent increase, but this is at the end of a multi-year endeavor that saw high double-digit performance improvements every single year.

7. Double Mirror: More Functionality with Less Features

You can now mirror about two planes when creating one mirror feature. This greatly cuts down on the number of mirror features that are needed to finish a lot of designs. Consider features added to the four corners in the part below. What used to take two mirrors can be done with just one thanks to what I’m calling the “double mirror.”

8. Stud Wizard (You heard that right)

No, this isn’t Gandalf’s short lived 80s cover band. It’s one of the best enhancements to SOLIDWORKS 2022. This tool is like the Hole Wizard, which has been around forever. However, it’s used to create external threaded stud features. This is a welcome addition to the SOLIDWORKS tool set.

9. Q-key: A Brand-New Keyboard Short Cut

We saw the addition of a brand-new keyboard short cut. With SOLIDWORKS 2022, you can press the Q key to display reference planes in the graphics area, so you can instantly use them for commands such as mate, measure or patterns.

10. Command Search: An All-time Favorite Got Better

You either know about the Command Ssearch and you love it, or you don’t know about the command search; there isn’t an in-between. With SOLIDWORKS 2022, my all-time favorite feature got even better. Now the Command Search is accessible through the shortcut bar. You can even hit the plus sign to instantly add a command to the shortcut bar. This is next-level customization on the fly. Try it, and you’ll see why the Command Search is a feature I love.

11. Large Design Review (LDR) – More Ways for Better Performance

2022 gives us more reasons to love high performance modes such as Large Design Review and Detailing Mode for drawings. You can now open a subassembly directly from an assembly in large design review mode and keep it in LDR mode. This addition makes it much more usable and opens many more doors for increased performance with your large models.

12. Detailing Mode – More Reasons You Need to be Using This

The biggest enhancement to drawings in recent years got even more useful. If you aren’t yet using detailing mode for drawing, then you’re missing out on some epic performance improvements. Think of detailing mode as sports mode for drawings. In SOLIDWORKS 2022, you can open detailing mode drawings directly from Large Design Review (LDR) assemblies as well take advantage of increased functionality like adding standard views to drawings in detailing mode. This expanded functionality and improved workflow makes detailing mode a no brainer for anyone who wants increased performance in drawings.

14. Sculpting

Jordan Tadic showed us the awesome power of sculpting on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Jordan impressed Rob Wolkers, industrial designer and lead engineer from U-Boat Worx when he designed the body of the Nemo submersible in a few minutes in xShape on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. It showed the true power of this technology and painted the art of what is possible with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Get ready – I think this is just the beginning.  

14. Simulation Without Limits

As more and more functionality becomes available to SOLIDWORKS users from the 3DEXPERIENCE portfolio of tools, you will notice more and more powerful simulation become available. Remember, SOLIDWORKS is just one of the many brands from Dassault Systèmes. Today, we got a preview of some high-end structural simulation and analysis powered by the Abaqus solver—the gold standard for virtual prototyping and simulation.

More to Come

Throughout the entire live stream event, Brian did an amazing job hosting and emceeing the event. At each point he asked the presenters what their favorite enhancements were and each one of them offered something that was exciting. This was incredibly impactful because it showed that there is much more to SOLIDWORKS 2022 than was was shown today.

Learn more about the new enhancements in SOLIDWORKS 2022 with the eBook SOLIDWORKS 2022 Enhancements to Streamline and Accelerate Your Entire Product Development Process.

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